Machina Loci


Safe and Healthy Art: R&R

Two part installation of fireman’s sliding pole and pillow fight room made for degree show at Central St Martins College of Art and Design in June 2008

One intention was to consider the difference between real and apparent risk. Nearly everyone feels fear when confronted with the fireman’s pole at height, yet the act of sliding is entirely in the control of the slider who embraces the pole with hands and body. In contrast, the pillow fight room, made of materials generally found in bedrooms, offers little apparent risk. Yet in fact, we have no direct control over the space and materials used. The work was also intended to challenge the health and safety culture of the institution and to provide simple relief from the serious business of looking at art in an overcrowded exhibition.

Risk: fireman’s pole made to Fire Marshall’s specification of stainless steel with painted mild steel base and fixings. Installation also included painted plywood movable gate, foam and gaffer tape landing pad, rules for safe sliding poster, mild steel practice pole (artist provided sliding training to each visitor) and safe and healthy art badge (awarded to successful trainees).
Retreat: 2.5 x 3 m plywood enclosure lined with painted memory foam, futon mattresses, muslin ceiling with lighting and fans above and feather pillows. Installation also included notice listing chemical ingredients of materials used.


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